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Post feature RSS Tetris Reimagined for a Touchscreen

Tetris is a perfect fit for a touchscreen. You should be able to drag pieces with your finger to fit them in to the puzzle. Unfortunately many of the game dynamics break down when you can drag pieces around. Architect is a re-imagining to create an amazingly fun and addictive game that embraces these constraints.

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I’ve always been a huge fan of Tetris and for a while now I’ve thought the core concept would work great on a touch screen where you could literally grab the pieces and position them appropriately.

I looked around but there weren’t any attempts to make a game where you could grab a block and fit it in to the puzzle. There have been versions where you can use the touch-screen like an old GameBoy, with the controls just areas on the screen. There’s even a version by EA where you click an area where it is supposed to go (at least I think that’s how it works). But again, I couldn’t find anything where you could actually grab a piece with your finger and position it in the puzzle.

The big problem, though, is that the whole increasing speed aspect of the game gets screwed up as soon as you start grabbing pieces with your finger (the piece stops falling so the speed that it is falling at matters very little).

So I decided to embrace this constraint and create a falling blocks game that doesn’t require the block to fall faster in order to be challenging.

Some of the changes I made:

1) You can grab and move any piece at any time (except if they are partially off the screen).
2) You can place pieces under other pieces.
3) You can pause the game and completely reorder all of the pieces.
4) You have to fill in the bottom row completely in order to build your structure in to the sky.
5) There are a number of challenging pieces that you have to incorporate in to your structure.

With the changes, the game becomes more about the puzzle-like aspect of organizing the pieces as they are presented and less about the speed at which they are presented.

I’m guessing some Tetris fans will find some of these changes annoying or even offensive. It’s just one person’s attempt to make the classic “falling blocks” game work on a touch screen. I’m sure there are other ways you could approach it.

The game is available on IOS and Android for a buck. There’s also a brief video at the link that shows that game in action. Sorry about charging for it, but I’m hoping to recoup some of the expenses that went in to making it and ideally help to fund my next puzzle game.

It takes a little practice to get good at grabbing and rotating pieces. I recommend making a “peace sign” with your fingers and using your index finger to grab and move pieces while swiping with your middle finder to rotate. Once you get that down, though, it’s a lot of fun. Also it’s a little easier on a larger screen, so if you have an iPad you may want to try it out on that to start.

Here’s the link for the game: Architect Puzzle Game

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